Written by Rod and Dee Mohr
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire. Psalm 37:4 (GNB)
As parents, we get great joy in seeing our kids become happy and successful in all they do. As they grow up, we spend a lot of our own personal time and money on things we think will make them happy. It doesn’t matter how hard we try to help them find happiness because sometimes being happy is still a major struggle for them. And when they struggle to find happiness, so do we. Part of the struggle could be that we just need to find a different currency to measure happiness with.
When we read a verse like Psalm 37:4, we might be tempted to mentally substitute the word “happiness” for the words “delight” and “desire”, which are key words in the verse, but what if that’s not exactly what David meant here? What if instead, he meant to direct our thoughts to the action word “love” when we study the verse? Consider this: to delight in someone is to “experience great pleasure and joy” whenever we are with them. To experience these emotions with people, we obviously have to know them very well, and they in turn have to know us just the same. We have to know their heart before we can find comfort in them. To be able to do this, we must spend a lot of time with someone before we can get to the point where we can “take delight” in them.
To “Take delight in the Lord” means we are going to have to make a commitment to Him. First and foremost, we have to fully trust Jesus with our salvation. To be close to our Heavenly Father, we have to know first just how much He loves us and to what lengths He’s willing to go to have a relationship with us. We delight in God by knowing Him more intimately so that we have a better understanding of His love for us. This is the only way to be sure that our desires are in line with God’s. So, in essence, David is telling us that if we know God’s love well, our hearts will be in line with His and in turn, so will our heart’s desire. Delight can certainly relate to happiness if we are seeking happiness in the right place.
Here are some things to think about as you pray for your kids, keeping in mind how your own personal relationship with God might affect theirs:
1. Do I fully trust that Jesus died for me?
2. Do I know God well and spend time with him regularly?
3. Do I consistently display God’s love and grace for my kids in all circumstances?
4. Do I feed my child’s personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, or do I spend more time feeding their earthly desires because it’s much easier to do?
5. Do I ask for God’s guidance as I lead my children?